Sunday, September 23, 2012

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

For my birthday Tommy discovered a hidden gem in the Pittsburgh Area: Living Treasures Animal Park.  We ventured up to New Castle, PA to visit this really inexpensive little outdoor zoo/farm type place that lets you just stroll around and feed the animals. Crazy right?  It kind of was crazy.  It was less than $10 a person with kibble and carrots for the furry friends.

After having just visited the zoo a couple weeks ago and fighting the crowds of people and crazy kids, this was such a nice change of pace.  It only took us about an hour and a half to go through the whole park, but it was so fun.
Yep! That's me feeding the sweet, softy wallaby! 
I had three favorite things about our Animal Park visit:
  • Tommy turned into either a 5 year old kid or a Dr. DoLittle.  I couldn't decide which.  He was talking to all the animals and was BOINGing around like a kangaroo.  Hilarious.  "Hey Bear! Come here, Bear! RAAAWWRRRR!"..."Hey Big Furry Gigantic Deer thing! Come here Big Furry Gigantic Deer Thing!"...lots of laughs strolling through the park.
This is "Furry Gigantic Deer Thing" & "Buck Tooth Porky the Porcupine."

  • If you don't know this about my sister, Ev, she is the jumpiest person you'll ever meet, and apparently has a weird fear of birds we didn't know about.  Who knew? She walks around every day in life with birds flying around her in nearby trees...but when she attempted walking into the aviary and a bird flew from one tree to the next she dropped a load in her pants and ran the other direction out of the bird cage.  Poor Ev.  
Ev could handle feeding the miniature deer just fine. They were so cute.

  • I loved the Camel.  Tommy kept saying "Hey Camel! Mr. Camel, you don't smoke cigs! You're a good camel...."  The camel was a bit of a snack hog, but if I was kept in a pen with pesty goats and lambs I think I would be too.  The camel was so sweet and his lips were so funny!
"You Don't Smoke Mr. Camel Man" was a kibble hog, but it's ok. I liked him.
The final pit stop before the park ends in the goat pen with goats, lambs and llamas.  These are the snack hogs that can just eat and eat and eat so they let you just unload all your remaining treats on these little guys.  

Not sure if you were allowed to just go strolling into the goat pen, but it didn't say "STAFF ONLY" and the gate was very welcoming so Tommy turned into a Goat Whisperer and went into the pen...

That black and white spotty goat in there was a real brat.  And he had poo on his feet and wiped it on Tommy's pants.  But he was head butting all the baby goats so they couldn't get the snacks.  I wanted to spank him.  

Apparently this place has party packages if you want to take a crew of kiddos for birthday entertainment and they also do camel and pony rides for $3 or $4.  I was initially set on a camel ride when we first arrived, but then when I saw the HUGE Camel (who also didn't smoke) he just looked kinda sad and tired...I feel your pain buddy...I'll give ya a rest.  

The park seemed a little on the unsupervised side, which surprised me, since we were shoving our hands in wild animals mouths?! BUT...maybe it's their slow season and all their current patrons when we were there looked very trustworthy and responsible.  

There were two little baby leopard cubs there SOMEWHERE.  We didn't see them in their little cage area and I was hoping to snuggle with one of those pretty kitties...but apparently they were hiding somewhere.  Oh well.  I got to love on Mr. Camel Man and that was great too!

Did you know that kangas and wallabies are nocturnal?  Initially when we went into the kanga exhibit all the roos looked kinda dead and miserable...but apparently that's because they were asleep, or at least trying to be.  They were SO soft though.  I couldn't believe it.  So soft.  I wanted one.  I'd make her carry me around in her pouch and BOING all over the place.  

Anyways, great place! Fun, entertaining, not too long of a walk, not too short of a walk...smelled kinda like poo...well, it smelled like the elephant house at the zoo.  Kinda pooey, and barny...but still super fun!  Lots of hand washing stations all over the place.  

This guy was Tommy's fave part.  I don't even know what he was.  He looked sort of like a really red headed super hairy bison?! With the longest, wettest and wildest tongue you've ever seen!

If you live in Pittsburgh and haven't been to this place you should go!  It was less than an hours drive.  Or if you're ever passing through Pittsburgh and heading North, it's totally worth a stop. It doesn't take long and it's thoroughly enjoyable.  It's right off of 79.  Actually, when we were looking at the Bear exhibit Tommy was amazed that "Mr. Bear" lives right by the highway.  It's his backyard :)  "Hey Mr. Bear! You live by the highway?!"  

Best Birthday Ever :)